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Relax visa rules - Goa requests Centre

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The strict visa rule of India's home ministry is hurting Indian tourism industry. The rule states that there has to be a 2 month gap before they can re-enter India.

Goa is first to cry foul. A steep fall in foreign tourist arrivals, the Goan tourism minister has requested the central govt. for special concessions to Goa.

Most Goa tourists are repeat visitors. Most of them take a last minute decision to visit Goa. Now, instead of Goa, these tourists are visiting Sri Lanka or Thailand.

The charters have dropped to 288 from 700.

Tourists used to make Goa their base for 5 to 6 months, exploring neighbouring destinations like Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia for a few weeks and then returning back to Goa.

Long stayers from Western Europe have been affected the most, who used to spend their entire winter in sunny Goa.

Home ministry is still sticking to its guns. They claim the new norm is to prevent misuse of tourist visa - either to check terror, or preventing illegal acquisition of property in Goa.

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